Nebraska will not have the opportunity to end its 0-for-forever NCAA Tournament streak this year, but it does have the opportunity to add to a 22-win season in the NIT. The Huskers earned a 5-seed and will face 4-seed Mississippi State in Starkville at 8 p.m. CT on March 14. The winner will face the winner of 1-seed Baylor (18-14) and 8-seed Wagner (23-9) in the second round.
The Bulldogs (22-11) finished seventh in the SEC with a 9-9 conference record. Based on the NCAA's most recent team sheets, Mississippi State had an RPI of 73 with a strength of schedule rank of 105. The Bulldogs went 2-8 against Quadrant 1 teams and 4-2 against Quadrant 2.
Nebraska entered today ranked 55th in RPI with a strength of schedule rank of 113. The Huskers went 1-6 against Quad 1 teams, 2-3 against Quad 2.
This is Nebraska's 18th appearance in the National Invitation Tournament and its first since 2011. The Huskers won the tournament in 1996, beating St. Joseph's 60-56 in the championship game.
Nebraska advanced to New York City and the NIT semifinals two other times, losing to Southern Mississippi in 1987 and DePaul in 1983. Between 2004 and 2009 the Huskers made four appearances in the NIT, advancing beyond the first round twice.
The Huskers were one of 12 teams ranked in the top-60 of RPI not to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Eleven of those teams are taking part in the NIT.
Nebraska and Mississippi State's first-round game will be televised on ESPN2.